Why praying for peace of Jerusalem equals praying for peace in Palestine and Israel

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 31-10-2023
Al-Aqsa mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem
Al-Aqsa mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem


Rita Farhat Mukand

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and East Jerusalem is also in Palestine and the little town of Bethlehem in Palestine, the root of Christianity was where Jesus Christ was born over 2000 years ago, the land sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, alike.

Amid the destruction and terror with bombs killing thousands, one’s heart is warmed to listen to tales of humanity and love. When an Israeli bomb struck Gaza’s only Christian Hospital al-Ahli Hospital killing 500, al-Ahli Hospital director Suhaila Tarazi said, "This hospital will continue to be a place of reconciliation, of love. The history of this hospital tells the story that we are all children of one God, whether we are Christian, Muslim, or Jew.”

When Israeli drones hit the oldest church in the world, a Greek Orthodox Gaza Church, it was discovered that the church was sheltering displaced people of all communities revealing humanity and kindness during the devastation.

Some factions believe that bombing a narrow strip of land called Gaza with 2.3 million people fenced in from all sides without Internet, water, and electricity would destroy the presumably 44,000 Hamas and rid the globe of great evil.

A girl being rescued from under the debris of a building that collapsed due to bombing by Israel

There are countless horrific videos of Palestinian civilians, babies, and children being pulled out of the rubble in Gaza. With a recent update from Al Jazeera, approximately 5,087 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since Hamas’s attack in Israel on October 7, and more than 14,000 were wounded. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been reported killed. Sarah Hassan, a journalist who is a Christian based in Gaza wrote on Twitter on October 25, 2023, “I'm really down! I can't complete it! Say something to me, I really need your support! We are being annihilated!”

The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in his most recent address said: “We are the people of the light, they are the people of darkness and light shall triumph over darkness — with a profound belief in the eternity of the Jewish people, we shall realize the prophecy of Isaiah. There will no longer be stealing at your borders and your gates will be of glory."

While Netanyahu appears to be elucidating the Zionist sovereignty, some Judean Jews as well as some groups of Christians debunk the Zionist supremacy saying the Zionist state of Israel is not the prophetic Israel of the Bible and all of the signs that God gave to national Israel have already been fulfilled meaning that nothing happening now was fulfilling prophecy, but rather political ambitions.

While Netanyahu believes he's fulfilling prophecies, the Tanakh, (Hebrew Bible) illustrates that Zadokites/Essenes, who descended from the original priestly bloodline of Aaron, as mandated by God in the Tanakh, had already considered the Second Temple and the Hellenized Hasmonean priesthood entirely illegitimate by the 1st century CE. Judaism Jews who follow the Torah are now united against Zionism denouncing the political moves of the Zionists stating they have been using the Jewish community as a tool of their politics for years.

Many global citizens express that while they thought Israel was predominantly secular, they are now stunned by a large amount of theocratic or ethno-supremacist rhetoric.

Historical Roots

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has deep historical roots. After the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in AD 33, Jerusalem was besieged by Rome, led by Emperor Titus. The tragic culmination occurred on August 29, AD 70, when Rome conquered Jerusalem, destroying the city, its Holy Temple, the obliteration of 985 Jewish villages, and the loss of many Jewish lives, with others being enslaved or forced to flee.

Following the death of King Solomon, the land was split into two realms: the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judaea. In 63 BC, the Romans conquered this land, designating it as Syria Palæstina, later known as Palestine. In 40 BC, King Herod was appointed by the Romans, though he wasn't of Jewish descent, and his rule was never accepted by the Jewish population.

Jewish communities scattered over the globe after intense persecution with over 900 of their villages wiped over. Even in the nations they entered, they endured global persecution. During WWII, the Holocaust orchestrated by German Nazis and their collaborators led to the tragic loss of six million Jewish lives. In 1947, the UN endorsed a partition plan for Arab and Jewish territories, sparking conflict. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of Israel, a response to mass migrations driven by persecution and anti-Semitism, marking the quest for a Jewish homeland. 

Jews and Muslims as seen inan Israeli city

Bethlehem - The Birthplace of Jesus Christ is in Palestine

Bethlehem is located in Palestine, known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ and the root of Christianity, where the Governorate of Bethlehem was founded in 1400 BCE and the Church of the Nativity is in Bethlehem, located in the West Bank within the State of Palestine. Within this basilica, the grotto holds immense religious significance for Christians of various denominations, being universally recognized as the birthplace of Jesus.

East Jerusalem Holy for Jews, Muslims, and Christians is also Located in Palestine

Jerusalem is claimed by Israel and Palestine with its location in the Israeli district. East Jerusalem is the part of Jerusalem administered by Jordan during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, in contrast to West Jerusalem, which was under Israeli control. According to international law, East Jerusalem is recognized as an integral part of the West Bank as part of the Palestinian territories.

Jerusalem is Holy for the Jews

The Temple Mount, known as Har haBayit in Hebrew, is a sacred site with deep historical significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Located in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City, originally constructed by King Herod in the first century BCE and according to Jewish scripture, King Solomon, the son of King David, erected the First Temple in 957 BCE.

The third temple of King Solomon would be built there called, the 'Third House of the Sanctum') refers to a hypothetical rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. It would succeed Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple, the former having been destroyed during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in c. 587 BCE and the latter having been destroyed during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Jerusalem is Holy for the Muslims

It is holy for the Muslims because the Al-Aqsa Mosque situated in East Jerusalem is considered the third holiest by the Muslims, after Mecca and Medina. The mosque is situated on a hill known to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims internationally as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary. At its core, you can find two prominent structures established during the Rashidun and early Umayyad caliphates following the city's capture in 637 CE: the central prayer hall of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which is the world's oldest surviving Islamic structure.

The plaza includes the area regarded as the site of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad's ascension to heaven and served as the first qibla, the direction of Muslim prayer. Much like in Judaism, Muslims also associate the site with Solomon and other revered prophets.

Since the time of the Crusades, the Muslim community in Jerusalem has been responsible for managing the site under the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. The entirety of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was under Jordanian administration from 1948 until 1967 occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967. Following the war, Israel reinstated the site's administrative authority to the Waqf, with Jordanian Hashemite oversight, while retaining Israeli security control. As part of the arrangement often referred to as the "status quo," the Israeli government enforces a prohibition on non-Muslim worship at the site. Consequently, the Temple Mount remains a significant focal point in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Christians are emotionally linked to Israel and hold a Bible verse very dearly in their hearts which goes:

Jerusalem is Holy for the Christians

Jerusalem marks sacred moments in the life of Jesus Christ’s life of teachings and miracles, crucifixion outside Jerusalem, and divine resurrection.

Bethelhem - the birthplace of Jesus Christ

At Jerusalem, Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem is a narrative in the four canonical Gospels describing the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion. This event is celebrated each year by Christians on Palm Sunday.  

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem is to say Pray for the Peace of Palestine As Well as Israel.

Psalm 122 A song of ascents of David.

 6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.

 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels."

 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you."

Jerusalem serves as a symbol of illumination and harmony for the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, spanning across Israel and Palestine. Israel, a Middle Eastern nation along the Mediterranean coast, is revered by followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as the biblical Holy Land. Palestine, being the birthplace of Christ and East Jerusalem is located in Palestine territories. At this time, the Bible verse, also in the Torah compels Christians to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem which is also in Palestine which also includes Gaza.

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More than anything, humanity has to elevate itself above all religious and political storms to save Gaza in Palestine where lives are being snuffed out by the hour. All should unite to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Gaza where both Israel and Palestine are located, for freedom, safety, equality, dignity, and the right to a peaceful life and coexistence. 

Rita Farhat Mukand is an independent writer based in Siliguri, West Bengal